The Buccaneers can’t wait much longer on Ryan Succop.
The Buccaneers were able to keep their big three intact in free agency (Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, and Shaquil Barrett), and now they can focus on some of the other essential pieces. While Ryan Succop plays a smaller role as a kicker, the Bucs need to make him their priority now.
While the Tom Brady signing will live in history forever, Succop was an extremely underrated addition to the Buccaneer special teams unit.
Over the past few years, a curse has hung over the Tampa kickers. The Bucs traded up in the draft, spent priority picks on kickers, and signed a bevy of free agents from various backgrounds. None of them could kick consistently to save their life.
The Buccaneers need to make a decision on Ryan Succop soon
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After a mediocre rookie season by Matt Gay, the Buccaneers went out on a limb in training camp by bringing in a veteran to compete. That decision made waves that reverberated throughout the rest of the season.
Succop earned the starting job and never looked back, and the Buccaneers had no second thoughts about letting Matt Gay go.
The immediate improvement in kicking was painfully obvious. Evident to the point that many people asked themselves how much better the former Bucs teams would be with a half-decent kicker on the roster.
Succop went on to finish the season 28/31 on field goals and 52/57 on extra points. Both of these numbers were dramatic improvements for the Bucs in both categories, and the team was able to save itself from heartbreak due to a few timely kicks by Succop on more than one occasion.
Given Succop’s incredible season, the question now has to be asked as to why Succop has not signed a new deal with the Bucs. Tampa Bay looked like they have found a consistent option for the future, yet they have signed depth players that played a much smaller role before Succop.
Tampa Bay is likely not preparing to let their best kickers in years walk in free agency, but it makes sense that they are taking this slow. Paying kickers is a risky business. Across the NFL, plenty of “sure things” have gone out and played more like a Gay or an Aguayo after a big contract.
The Buccaneers would be wise to keep Succop around for the next few seasons, but they don’t want to throw any guaranteed money his way, and they will also want to keep the kicking competitions going during camp.
While none of us want to see Succop walk, kicker is the most fickle position in the NFL, and the Bucs have to be sure that Succop is their man before this Super Bowl window closes. As of now, though, it looks like the Bucs’ kicker should be here to stay.
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